What Are The three Greatest Strategic Questions Corporations Have To Tackle Proper Now?


In The Artwork Of Warfare, an historic Chinese language handbook, Solar Tzu lays out a compelling precept that has dominated strategic considering ever since: “Know thy enemy and know your self; in 100 battles, you’ll by no means be defeated.” 

However what if there isn’t a enemy? No less than not an apparent one.

That’s precisely the world we reside in immediately. Systemic points like local weather change, unpredictable know-how implications, and the nice resignation will outline the longer term. It’s not as if competitors is irrelevant however well-rehearsed strategic devices taught firms easy methods to grasp them. These new challenges are fuzzy and few firms have established routines in easy methods to deal with them.


How ought to I reply to systemic points?

“It’s clear that local weather change shouldn’t be a classical technique problem allowing a easy, secure plan.” Martin Reeves, the chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute explains. “We have to proactively form the context, and use creativeness to seek out methods to take action.”

COP26 put the highlight on this explicit problem however there are others, e.g. social justice or new methods of working that require a extra systemic strategy. Corporations are most comfy with conditions they’ll grasp by way of their very own actions. Therefore, a lot of these challenges are significantly unsettling.

The excellent news is {that a} rising variety of firms can leverage their expertise working in ecosystems to sort out such points. As Ron Adner notes in a wonderful new e book, automobile firms are usually not simply producing automobiles however working with a number of companions on mobility platforms. Whereas banks navigate a broader fintech surroundings and broadcasters have interaction with streaming companies. Such experiences put together them to contemplate points in a extra collaborative method.


The non-linear sample of systemic points additionally suggests {that a} purely analytical strategy will not suffice in technique. Why not strive one thing extra playful? Take enterprise journey and local weather change for example. For the time being their fundamental response is to supply purchasers carbon offsetting for the next worth. However what in the event that they performed what Reeves calls a “invert-your-business sport”? On this sport they change their core assumptions, say “enterprise vacationers need handy flights to see their purchasers” with totally different ones, e.g. “enterprise vacationers need carbon-neutral methods to work together with their purchasers’. The brand new framing would possibly set off new fashions, which result in cooperation and thereby extra systemic options.

Systemic points are irritating and the temptation is to focus on points inside an organization’s management. Doing so shouldn’t be more likely to be a recipe for winners.

How is know-how affecting my enterprise?

Two years in the past, distant work was extra of a theoretical prospect. Because the pandemic pressured us to isolate at house idea rapidly became actuality. The know-how was there, we solely wanted a set off to unleash it.


This expertise means that we must always have a look at know-how in a brand new approach. Attempt to keep away from hyperbole. Few industries will probably be completely changed by new applied sciences. Essentially the most profound influence is more likely to come from applied sciences that have an effect on the way you do issues in your trade. Take the metal trade. Although new supplies are developed, metal is unlikely to vanish. However the manufacturing course of is beginning to change dramatically as applied sciences resembling autonomous guided automobiles, built-in temperature and vitality administration, or knowledge administration instruments are being adopted.

German marketing consultant Stephan Friedrich von den Eichen, the managing director of IMP, explains that “recognizing such tendencies early sufficient requires you to look exterior your individual trade boundaries. It’s an phantasm to assume that you are able to do this by yourself. You could herald consultants from different industries and work with them to identify surprising tendencies.”

Such an engagement with outsiders prepares firms when know-how adoption accelerates, e.g. by way of a set off such because the pandemic.

How do I entice and preserve the very best folks?


This doesn’t sound like a technique challenge however it’s probably crucial one. In July 2021 4 million Individuals left their jobs. Skilled staff—these between the age of 30 and 45—are probably to comply with the YOLO warfare cry (You solely reside as soon as) popularized by rapper Drake.

The warfare for expertise has simply turn into an amazing deal extra pressing. Most methods fail in execution and probably the most primary part of execution is folks. Traditional retention methods resembling well being care provision, youngster assist, and better salaries cowl the fundamentals however gained’t deal with the foundation trigger. As Maslow’s hierarchy of wants taught us virtually 80 years in the past, folks need self-actualization as soon as the fundamentals are coated.

Few employers provide this. To be extra exact, a Gallop ballot of 112,000 enterprise items exhibits that solely 20 p.c of the worldwide workforce feels engaged. Within the US the state of affairs is barely higher however 36 p.c remains to be alarmingly low.


Corporations who need to buck the pattern simply must do the apparent: present room for self-actualization. In his forms busting e book Humanocracy, Gary Hamel explains that firms like Haier excelled as they gave employees the autonomy to pursue their very own concepts. To make sure cohesion, open technique dialogues can join the front-line with high administration.

Not solely does this clear up your retention challenge, it additionally unleashes the ingenuity of your folks—killing two birds with one stone!



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